Thursday, August 26, 2021

Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas Tour and Giveaway


Choir Loft Murder

Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas Book 3

by Karen Randau

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Her fiancé a murderer? As she digs for the truth, she must fight to survive a plot to frame the man she loves.

Frankie Shep has endured too many tragedies in her life. When she finally dares to love again, a revengeful plot threatens to cancel her wedding plans and send her fiancé to death row. But this feisty modern-day rancher won't stand for it.

A member of the church choir dies from a blowgun dart to a vital artery, and the murder weapon implicates Quint. Frankie is shocked to discover Quint was a champion blowgun competitor but quit the sport after a family disaster. And now he’s refusing to talk about his fate.

So she takes it on herself to track down the killer before Quint accepts a life-altering plea deal. She's devastated when she unearths his motive for the crime. But someone else lurks in the shadows, and that's who she's determined to find. Little does she know the killer follows her every move, ready to strike her down when she gets too close.

Can she unravel the vindictive plot before she becomes a crazed killer's next victim?

Choir Loft Murder is the riveting third book in the Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas series. If you like engaging heroines, twisty plots, and eerie settings, then you’ll love Karen Randau’s pulse-pounding thriller.

Buy Choir Loft Murder to expose a ruthless murderer today!

Goodreads * Amazon

Walking hand-in-hand toward the sanctuary with her fiancé, Frankie silently practiced the alto part for the July 4th production their Rawlins, Wyoming church was putting on. Quint’s jaw-length, sandy hair fluttered the way Frankie liked when he quick-stepped ahead of her to grab the handle. The sight caused her to forget all about harmonies.

With a sweeping gesture, he swung the door open and allowed his lips to graze her cheek. “My lady.” He laughed as he placed a hand on her lower back and nudged her inside.

Her heart was so full she thought it might burst when she kissed the sexy stubble on his chin. As she slid past him, she glanced toward the opposite end of the sanctuary and stopped in her tracks. “Whoa.” She stepped aside so Quint could come up beside her.

One of the first sopranos stood in the far corner of the choir loft, on the stage behind the pulpit. Facing the wall, she held a cell phone to her ear, her free arm swinging wildly. “I’m telling you for the last time to leave me alone! If you ever bother me again—” She turned around when she heard them, and her dark hair spilled across her face. She angrily gestured for them to leave.

Frankie felt sorry for whoever was getting a piece of Sarah’s mind; it wasn’t a pretty sight. The robust thirty-five-year-old woman’s face was so red it made the scar on her cheek prominent despite layers of makeup. Frankie wasn’t sure Sarah’s cell phone would stand up to the woman’s white-knuckle grip or that her teeth wouldn’t shatter under the grinding she was subjecting them to.

Sarah pointed at the door with such fury that Quint took Frankie’s hand and backed out of the building.

“That is one hot-tempered woman.” Quint shook his head and gave a harrumph.

As always, his Texas drawl triggered a warm feeling in Frankie. Given what they’d just witnessed, she tried not to smile as she basked in the pleasure of his deep voice.

As Frankie fiddled with the hem of the camp shirt she wore over her tank top, Quint whispered, “I’m not surprised her husband left her.” He looked both ways and behind him before leaning down to give Frankie a proper good-bye kiss.

She smiled up at him while brushing a lock of hair off his forehead. “Everyone knows we’re engaged. Even pastors are allowed to kiss the people they’re about to marry.”

“Habit, I guess. My mom frowned on public displays of affection. Texas thing. Anyway, my red-headed, blue-eyed beauty, I’ll be in my office when you’re done.” He looked back at the door. “Good luck in there.” He waved and headed toward the side entrance.

“I’ll just stand here until reinforcements arrive.” She cupped her hands around her mouth and whispered loudly, “I love you.”

He blew her a kiss before disappearing around the corner.

“You two are so cute.” Frankie was startled as Mrs. Williams approached behind her. “I’m so glad I introduced you at the harvest dance last fall.”

Frankie tamped down the temptation to remind Mrs. Williams that she met Quint when he bought the ranch next to hers thirty miles outside of town. She’d already done it twice. She was about to thank Mrs. Williams for calling them a cute couple when the sanctuary door crashed open.

Sarah ran out with her fists tight. “Where is he?”

“Who, dear?” Mrs. Williams held one hand to her chest and fanned her face with the other. Frankie knew Mrs. Williams considered Sarah competition for the role she’d previously held—the only choir member able to hit the high notes. She had owned that spot for decades and didn’t hesitate to show how much Sarah annoyed her.

“Quint!” Sarah glared at Frankie, then turned to search the parking lot.

“It’s Pastor Quint, dear.” Sarcasm dripped from Mrs. Williams’s  voice, making her sound every one of her sixty-five years. Her eyes sparkled as she curled her lips into a smile.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Where is he?” Sarah faced Frankie, standing too close for comfort.

“He’ll be around after practice.” Frankie hoped the woman would calm down after showing off her operatic voice for the next hour. She sensed people were beginning to gather behind her and wished someone would come to her rescue.

Sarah stepped toward Quint’s shiny new blue pickup, but the choir director stopped her when he pushed to the front of the crowd, his black-rimmed glasses sliding down his sweaty nose. “Why are we standing in the summer sun?” He nudged the glasses back, ran a hand through what hair he had left, and pushed a breath through his teeth. “Anyone not in their chair in the next two minutes will not be in the July 4th production. We only have two weeks left to prepare.”

Sarah huffed out her frustration at not finding Quint, but she followed the other singers inside.

The group went through a few exercises to warm up their vocal cords before practicing two hymns for the Sunday service.

When they got to the Star-Spangled Banner, the director said, “This song is written in the key of C, but a lot of people sing it in B flat to lower the highest note.” He smiled at Sarah, who nodded politely. “With Sarah here, I believe we can do it in C. Sarah, you take the high G, and Mrs. Williams, you slide on down to second soprano at that point.”

Mrs. Williams tsked. “Fine.” She turned a tight-lipped smile toward Sarah.

Someone cracked open the side door usually used by the choir. Frankie caught a brief glimpse of something shiny, but she was too preoccupied to pay attention. Instead, she watched Sarah with awe while the music reached a crescendo. Sarah flawlessly executed the high note. Her voice was beautiful, her eyes closed, and her face so relaxed it revealed a woman in her happy place.

Then her voice went flat before stopping altogether, blood gushing around a dart in her neck and spraying Mrs. Williams. Sarah landed with a thud at Mrs. Williams’s  feet, gasping for breath, staring at the ceiling.

Survival Instinct

Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas Book 2

When rescuers don't come, she must fight to save herself, a toddler, and a dog from unthinkable odds, but a mass murder wants to make them his next victims.

Frankie Shep’s secret has haunted her since the deaths of her husband and young son. Just when she thinks her life is back on track, tragedy strikes again. Her flight crashes on a lofty peak in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. She has no food, water, or shelter in arctic conditions. She awaits certain death.

Instinct kicks in when she finds the only other survivors, a toddler and a small dog. She taps into skills she learned as a child to overcome unspeakable odds. But the guy who crashed the airplane will do anything to guarantee that all witnesses perish.

Can Frankie save her troupe and find redemption she seeks? Or will her secret die with her when they become the killer’s next victims?

Buy Survival Instinct now to find out!

Goodreads * Amazon

Mystery Bones Murders

Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas Book 1

A stalker terrorizing her land. When dead bodies link to her past, can she survive a plot to destroy her future?

Frankie Shep holds a shameful secret close to her heart. Plagued by guilt over her husband and son’s deaths, the feisty modern-day rancher isolates herself with just her animals for companions. But she’s shocked when a human bone exposed during a storm reveals evidence of a brutal seventeen-year-old crime.

As her nightmares become a harsh reality when more gruesome remains surface, Frankie starts to track down a shadowy serial killer after discovering her father is missing. And she fears a looming threat is right at her back door, ready to strike her down.

Can she dig up the truth before she’s buried deep in a lonely grave?

Mystery Bones Murders is the gripping first book in the Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas series. If you like engaging heroines, twisty plots, and eerie settings, then you’ll love Karen Randau’s pulse-pounding thriller.

Buy Mystery Bones Murders to unearth skeletons today!

Goodreads * Amazon

Frankie set the rifle next to her knee and avoided thorns as she reached in to untangle Diesel. The calf was too panicked. He struggled against her, causing a bruise and a muscle cramp in her forearm. As she pulled back, barbs tore the skin on her wrist. She sucked on the deepest wound while returning to Concho to retrieve a rope and a utility knife from the saddlebag. 

Back at Diesel, she wrestled with the calf to loop the rope around his neck. She cut the branches that pinned him to the bush and pulled on the rope. Diesel kicked and fell, then bawled and tried to run. When he realized he was freed from the bush, he stood still, panting and shivering.

Frankie wiped water from her eyes while inspecting a cut in the calf’s left hind leg. It wasn’t so serious to keep him from walking home before she doctored it. With a grunt, she pulled on the rope and led Diesel toward Concho. 

As they approached, the horse pranced and snorted like crazy. Frankie caught Concho’s reins and rubbed his nose. “What’s wrong with you?” He stood still long enough for her to secure Diesel’s rope to the saddle horn, then returned to his dance.

His hoof clicked against the thing she had seen sticking up from the ground earlier.

“What did you find?” She knelt and dug dirt and mud away from a bone. 

“Concho, did we find an ancient guy’s campsite? Is that what has you so spooked?” 

As kids, Frankie and her friends had often daydreamed about finding a nomadic Native American tribe’s village on the ranch. But where they sledded every winter? 

“Cool.” She moved more dirt until she could pull the bone from the ground and examine it.

The bone seemed small for a man. Her former friend, Harbin Williams, now a professor in the anthropology department at the University of Wyoming, could confirm her exciting suspicions. But…

She couldn’t force herself to attend his son’s funeral five years ago. Their kids died together in the accident her husband caused. She had isolated herself in her struggle to heal her grief, and she couldn’t face helping her best friends with their recovery.

A growl jolted her attention from the bone to the bared teeth of a gray wolf—ten feet from her. 

The rifle lay six feet away, behind the fallen log. 

She hopped over the log and took a fighting stance between her animals and the wolf, and then rushed to pull the repellent from under her rain poncho.

The predator stepped closer. Saliva dripped from its huge teeth.

Karen Randau authors fast-paced mystery, thriller, and suspense books, including the Frankie Shep Suspense Novella series, Rim Country Mysteries, and Deadly Reception (a stand-alone novella as one of seven of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries box set written by best-selling and award-winning authors). Her Rim Country Mystery novel, Deadly Payload, was a finalist in the Book Excellent Awards and the Beverly Hills Book Awards.

She’s a lifelong writer, both for fun and as a professional in marketing communications. She retired in 2018 from the international relief and development organization Food for the Hungry, where she frequently blogged about topics related to social justice and poverty. She holds a degree in journalism/public relations. A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen lives with her husband in Arizona.

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